Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee State volleyball team's winning streak ended at four matches with a 3-1 (25-21, 15-25, 22-25, 25-27) loss to Austin Peay at home.
Junior setter Erika Moss paced the Tigers (14-11, 8-4 OVC) with 44 assists which was her second consecutive 40-plus assist match.
Offensively, three Tigers ended in double-figures in kills with Naomi Wells leading the way with 21. Fellow sophomore rachel Ambroch tallied 16 and freshman Lindsay Hornsby had 11.
Wells also recorded 17 digs during the contest, but it was senior Britani Hathorn who led the team with 24 playing libero.
Hornsby started the match by tallying a pair of kills during the Tigers’ 3-1 run to start the match. She later recorded her third kill to make the score 5-3 and Butler added a kill of her own to put TSU up by three. The teams traded points until an error from Austin Peay (14-11, 8-4 OVC) gave TSU a four-point advantage. Hornsby added two more kills immediately after and TSU was up 16-10. A series of long rallies highlighted the next three points, but they were all won by Austin Peay to trim the Tiger’ lead to just three. Just when the Lady Governors were about to tie the set, Ambroch slammed home back-to-back kills to put TSU up 20-17. She added another kill a few points later and the Tiger lead swelled to four. A double-hit error on Austin Peay ended the set and the Tigers were up 1-0.
Hornsby had nine kills during the first period, helping the Tigers hit .269 throughout the set.
Austin Peay started the second frame by going on a 5-1 run that featured a handful of errors by TSU. Wells finally ended the streak with a kill, but the Lady Governors still held a 7-3 lead a little later in the set. APSU extended its lead to six when senior Calasia Williams couldn’t quite dig out the ball cleanly. Wells recorded a kill for TSU with the score at 14-10, but the Tigers couldn’t cobble together a run as another error later in the period put the Lady Govs up by eight. TSU was down by as many as 11 down the stretch, and APSU eventually tied the match at one set apiece with kill.
TSU was out-hit .083 to .355 during the second period. APSU also benefited from a 3-0 service ace advantage.
TSU rebounded from the poor second set by winning the first two points of the third. Wells tallied two kills in a row later in the frame to put the Tigers up by three at 4-1. The Tigers’ lead didn’t last long as the Lady Govs recorded a block to make the score 6-5 in their favor. Another block later in the set put APSU up by three and prompted TSU head coach Kathy Rouhlac to call the first timeout in the match. The stoppage of play didn’t stop the Austin Peay run as APSU eventually led 13-6 on the back of four straight kills. The Tigers clawed back to within four with a kill from Wells, but couldn't quite tie the set. Austin Peay won the third set to take a 2-1 lead.
Wells had seven kills in the set, but the Tigers only held a .106 hitting percentage.
TSU started the third frame by winning the first two points, but APSU quickly tied the match at two on a TSU error. The teams went back and forth for the next 20 scores and the match was still tied at 12 apiece. APSU finally took a two-point lead on a kill from Jada Stotts and extended its lead to four when a kill from TSU went wide. The 6-2 Austin Peay run forced TSU to burn a timeout, and Ambroch recorded a pair of kills when play resumed to cut the APSU lead to three. Three straight points from the Tigers tied the set at 19, but the Lady Govs answered with a 3-1 run. With the match tied at 25, two straight errors from TSU ended the match.
Hear Rouhlac's thoughts on the match, below:
The Tigers' next match is on the road at Alabama A&M on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m.